After the busiest offseason in the Thunder’s short history, only one day stands between Oklahoma City and the start of the regular season. All hope was seemingly lost in the summer when the Thunder’s most-loved player packed his bags and left town. Then, Russell Westbrook unexpectedly signed a contract extension, hinting that maybe he was the hero Oklahoma City had needed all along.
The expectations for the Thunder this season vary amongst experts across the country. According to the NBA General Manager Survey, NBA GMs expect Oklahoma City to finish fourth in the Western conference, beating out the Portland Trailblazers to win the Northwest Division. David Aldridge at NBA.com thinks that Oklahoma City will make the Playoffs, but just barely. Meanwhile, Tim Bontemps over at The Washington Post thinks that the Thunder will miss the playoffs altogether, and Josh Smith at Bleacher Report agrees. James Herbert at CBS Sports says the Thunder are hard to predict, explaining that they could go as low as missing playoffs or as high as having home-court advantage in the playoffs.
The Thunder have a lot of going for them with league MVP-favorite Russell Westbrook in command and guys like Steven Adams and Victor Oladipo at his side. Team defense and three-point shooting are noticeable deficiencies, but they are by all means fixable issues. While the potential result of this season is a giant question mark, one thing is for certain: Oklahoma City loves its team, and the Thunder will play as hard as any squad in the league this year.
Tomorrow, the Thunder Guys will debut our ‘Ten Bold Predictions for the Thunder’s 2016-17 Season,’ and we expect this year to be one to remember.
Article written by Zack Low. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter.